By. Christopher Eichhorn
It is no secret now that St. Louis’ central corridor has seen increasing construction and interest over the last several years: a large number of towers over have been built (such as the Orion apartment building in the Central West End) or rehabbed from a dilapidated state (such as the Arcade lofts downtown). These are important developments, and it’s good that there is significant variety amongst these projects: everything from comparatively low end, income assisted lofts to 3 bedroom, family-centric condominiums.
But while there is diversity, one thing that has been missing from the city’s burgeoning apartment complexes are prestige living apartments – apartments more expensive than the “luxury” lofts typically aimed at middle or upper middle class residents. Are you a Doctor, a lawyer, or someone else making a solidly six figure income in St. Louis? Until recently, it was highly likely that you lived in a house in the suburbs, rather than in an apartment complex in the city. There were very few apartment buildings focusing on the upper class residents, and these are important for an area even if those apartments aren’t for you. They bring – as the name implies – prestige to an area, and help convince affluent people that an area might be right for them. This doesn’t come at the expense of more affordable living; it supplements it.
But recent developments are finally remedying this omission. The Ballpark Village Tower (And adjacent, recently announced tower) may fit this description downtown; the Orion apartments in the Central West End have reportedly gone under contract to sell at the highest price in the city’s history; and most immediately, we see the groundbreaking for The 100 along Kingshighway, designed by award winning Studio Gang architects right along Forest Park in an area that is highly likely to demand considerable prices. These projects bring a welcome addition to the city’s growing apartment dwelling population, and we’re glad these projects are moving forward even if we aren’t the ones who are going to be living there.
As the city continues to add apartments, condos and lofts along its rapidly developing central corridor, we hope that we continue to see increasing diversity of options – for families and singles, for low cost renters and high earners. The start of 100 Kingshighway helps flesh out a niche in apartment offerings that had been lacking from the city’s portfolio.